Normal-ish. That’s the vision of campus life that Babson is striving toward for fall 2021.

To reach that goal, all students are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19, and faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get their vaccine as well.

Additionally, to facilitate a safe transition back to our campuses, COVID-19 testing is required for all community members returning to in-person activities.

Our objective is to start safe and stay safe throughout the semester. Vaccination, testing, and the continuation of key health and safety practices including rigorous cleaning and disinfecting protocols, enhanced ventilation and air filtration indoors, and the ability to rapidly pivot according to the latest public-health data, will help us succeed. It will take all of us, working together as One Babson.

Decision-making remains data-driven, and we will continue to evaluate and evolve current policies based on community vaccination rates, federal, state and local public health guidance, and the input of our external consultants, Environmental Health and Engineering (EHE).

We will continue to provide updates as decisions are made, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Babson this fall.

Last updated Friday, July 30, 2021

Dear Babson Community:

As we approach the start of our Fall semester, we look forward to reuniting in-person to begin an engaging and productive year. While we anticipate a more recognizable campus experience—and a return to normalcy in many ways—we are mindful of the local and global impact of the evolving health situation, including emerging COVD-19 variants. The health and wellbeing of the Babson community, along with continued academic excellence, remain our guiding principles. Based on our learnings and experience in the last 18 months, and in close collaboration with our public health consultant and local authorities, we have developed a multi-faceted health and safety plan designed to help us safely transition to full, in-person activities. 

Key Elements of the Fall 2021 Health and Safety Plan:

Vaccination. A vaccinated community is our best defense against COVID-19. Vaccination is required for all students returning to our campuses and strongly encouraged for employees. We continue to receive and verify vaccination records to ensure our campus communities are overwhelmingly vaccinated this semester.

Facilities. We continue proven and CDC-recommended mitigation strategies. These include cleaning protocols, air filtration and new signage to support a re-densified campus environment.

Special Arrival Protocols. All members of the Babson community—regardless of vaccination status—must complete a Babson-administered PCR test within 24 hours of their first visit to campus after August 15. We are exceeding federal and state guidance in requiring this test and doing so in order to ensure we immediately identify and isolate any positive cases associated with traveling to campus.

Let me outline the details of our arrival protocols, including testing, badging and mask-wearing requirements:

Arrival Testing for Students:

Fully vaccinated students:

  • Complete the Semester Location Form by August 26th (ugrad) or September 3rd (graduate).
  • Complete a Babson PCR test immediately upon arrival to campus. We recommend scheduling the Babson PCR test in advance for at least 48 hours prior to your first in-person class or activity.
  • Masks are required indoors until a negative initial Babson test result is received.
  • Following a negative arrival test, a one-time clearance badge will be sent to confirm eligibility for on-campus activities.
  • Weekly asymptomatic surveillance testing will be conducted through September 17 for all community members.

NOTE: Fully vaccinated international travelers should adhere to all CDC international travel guidance. 

Not vaccinated or partially vaccinated students (including medical/religious exemptions and those who plan to be vaccinated upon arrival):

  • Complete the Semester Location Form by August 26th (ugrad) or September 3rd (graduate).
  • Upload a negative result from a test taken within 72 prior to arrival on campus here.
  • Complete a Babson PCR test immediately upon arrival to campus. We recommend scheduling the Babson PCR test in advance for at least 48 hours prior to your first in-person class to avoid any delay to your academic experience.
  • Must receive a negative Babson PCR test result (in addition to the 72 hours test ahead of arrival) before attending in person classes. 
  • Once you have uploaded your off-campus test from 72-hours prior to arrival and received a negative Babson PCR test result, you will sent a clearance badge confirming eligibility for on-campus activities. 
  • Masks must be worn indoors. 
  • Weekly asymptomatic testing is required, every 7 days.

NOTE: If/when students are fully vaccinated and have met reentry requirements, masking and weekly testing will no longer be required. 

Arrival Testing for Faculty and Staff: 

Fully vaccinated employees:

  • Complete a Babson PCR test immediately upon arrival to campus. 
  • Masks are required indoors until a negative initial Babson test result is received.
  • Following the results of an initial arrival test, a one-time arrival badge confirming eligibility for on-campus work.

Not vaccinated or partially vaccinated employees: 

  • Complete a Babson PCR test immediately upon arrival to campus. 
  • Masks must be worn indoors, at all times.
  • Once you have received a negative Babson PCR test result, you will receive a clearance badge confirming eligibility for on-campus work. 

Surveillance Testing. Together, our objective is to start safe and stay safe this semester. We know that a small percentage of our community will arrive unvaccinated or in different stages of the vaccination process. To further safeguard our campus, we are implementing a short-term asymptomatic testing program for all members of the Babson community. Following arrival testing, all students, faculty and staff regularly on campus will be required to test once every seven days for the first several weeks of the semester. We anticipate this policy remaining in place until September 17, but we will continue to make data-driven decisions and communicate any changes.

Following this initial transition period, unvaccinated and partially vaccinated community members must continue with weekly asymptomatic testing. Intermittent and targeted community testing approaches also may be implemented based on health data and trends. 

Visitors. As we re-populate campus, visitors will remain limited and be required to mask, regardless of vaccination status. Following August 30th, unvaccinated visitors must continue to wear a mask indoors. Overnight guests are not permitted in the residence halls at this time.

Vaccination, testing, and the continuation of key health and safety practices—including masking precautions and limited external visitors as we transition back to campus — will help us achieve our collective goal of keeping the Babson community healthy and well. Similar to this last year, we will refine and strengthen our protocols as guidance and data evolves. We continue to ask for your collaboration, support, and recognition that plans may need to be modified in the weeks ahead. For questions, please contact healthupdate@babson.edu.

We look forward to welcoming you back to campus and to safely resuming the in-person collaboration and connection that is central to the Babson experience. Success depends on all of us. Together as one community, I am confident in our ability to thrive in the next normal.

Steve 

Students Outside Dorm